Different types of Thermostats- Which thermostat do you need?

Well, all of us know that a thermostat is a device that controls a heating and cooling system. The device is significant in ensuring that the heating and cooling system installed in your house works properly. Besides, this useful gadget can be set to turn heat on or off as well as to what temperature the heat will rise or fall. If you use the thermostat appropriately and responsibly, you can save enormously on your energy bills .

One important criterion to look for when you purchase a thermostat is the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Coming to the types of thermostats, they are categorized into two basic types:

  • 1. Line-voltage thermostats
  • 2. Low-voltage thermostats

1. Line voltage thermostats are used in single heating systems like baseboards and radiant systems. These thermostats are installed in series with heaters, probably at 240V. In this particular type of connection, the electric current flows through the thermostat and the heater. Unluckily, the thermostat itself reaches the set room temperature resulting in shutting off even before the heater brings the room to the set temperature.

2. Low voltage thermostats are perhaps more efficient in controlling the flow of electric current. These kinds of thermostats are largely used in central heating systems that use oil, gas and electricity. Besides, they are used in water heating systems especially in zone valves as well as in electric unitary systems. A low voltage thermostat not only helps you to precisely control current but also enables you to easily use the programmable controls mainly due to the fact that these thermostats operate at 24V to 50V.

If you have confusions in selecting in line voltage thermostat or low voltage thermostat, check this article , it can help you to choose in between line voltage and low voltage thermostats.

Options available in line voltage and low voltage thermostats

1. Programmable thermostats

A low voltage programmable thermostat helps you to have the temperature in your house adjusted automatically according to preset times. This will help you conserve energy as you can allow the device to minimize the temperature when you are away from home and maximize the temperature when you are around.

blue_hostHere in thermostatguide, we have written the best reviews of touchscreen thermostats.Read our detailed review about programmable touchscreen thermostats.

These thermostats are available in several models. Simpler ones enable you to program different daytime and nighttime temperature settings whereas the complicated ones can be programmed so that they adjust temperature in different ways for the various days and times of the week.

What are the best Programmable thermostats right now?

1.  Nest smart learning thermostat

Rating 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)

nest

The best smart wifi thermostat available right now in the industry, if you are looking for something that is extremely smart,intelligent, and money/power saving you can buy the new generation Nest learning thermostat.. You can save great deal of money by using a thermostat, check this and find out how you can really save money by using a nest smart thermostat.

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2. Honeywell wifi smart thermostat

Rating 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

honeywell smart thermostat

If you are looking for something similar to Nest learning thermostat, and at a cheaper price, you can try the Honeywell Smart wifi thermostat. You can also get Honeywell thermostat in multiple colors.

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3. Ecobee smart thermostat

Rating 4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

Ecobee smart thermostat

Are you looking for a smart wifi thermostat with almost all the functionalities of Nest learning thermostat and honeywell smart thermostats, but at a lower pricing?

Well, what are the benefits of programmable thermostats?

Whenever there in an increase in temperature variation, loss due to heating and cooling from a building becomes greater. However, a programmable thermostat helps in reducing these losses by reducing the temperature variation. For instance, in the cooling season, a programmable thermostat may be set in such a way that the temperature rises during the workday when no one is at home and set to turn on the air conditioner just before the arrival of the residents; this makes the house to be cool when the residents arrive at home while still having saved a considerable amount of air conditioning energy during the peak outdoor temperatures. In addition, the reduced cooling needed during the day minimizes the demands placed upon the electrical supply grid.

On the other hand, during the heating season, this thermostat may be set in such a way that the temperature in the house drops when no one is at home during the day as well as during the night when all of them have gone to bed; it should also be set to re-heat the house prior to the time the residents arrive home in the evening or wake up in the morning. As a majority of people sleep comfortably when a room is cooler and the difference in temperature between the outdoors and indoors is greatest on a cold winter night, this significantly reduces energy losses.

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2. Mechanical thermostats

These are a type of line voltage thermostats that are pretty easy to install. These thermostats operate by being triggered by metal bars that heat up or cool down. In fact, these are the easiest and the cheapest thermostats available. They have either vapor-filled bellows or bi-metallic strips that respond to differences in temperature. However, mechanical thermostats are thought of as unreliable, especially the cheapest models that use bi-metallic strips.

The major drawback you will experience with mechanical thermostats is the slow response of the bi-metallic strips that may cause significant temperature variations, above or below the desired set points. Moreover, these thermostats can be set only to one specific temperature.

Pros and cons of mechanical thermostats discussed

These thermostats are generally referred to as old fashioned thermostats mainly because they are not programmable and they are not very efficient in regulating a room temperature like a digital thermostat. Besides being the oldest type of thermostat, many people still use it merely because these are quite simple to install and use and above all, very cheap. You can see this type of thermostat particularly in older houses.

Mechanical thermostats are provided with coiled metal that expands or contracts according to the temperature.  Well, this is certainly not the best way to control temperature even though it has been sufficient for most of the people over the years.  Still, these thermostats result in incorrect temperature readings and it has been noted that they keep the temperatures higher than the set point. With everyone concerned about energy savings, it is important to remember that whenever your room temperature goes up by 1 degree Celsius, you end up using up to 10% more energy! Therefore, this thermostat is not a choice for those cautious energy savers.

Yet another disadvantage of using this mechanical thermostat is the slower response time that results in wider temperature fluctuations as the day passes.

The best Mechanical non programmable thermostats

1. Honeywell CT410B Manual 4 Wire Premium Baseboard/Line Volt Thermostat (YCT410B1000/U)

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

honeywell mechanical thermostat

When it comes to non programmable mechanical thermostats, Honeywell CT410B is thermostat with highest demand.

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2. Emerson 1C20-101 Mechanical Heat Only Thermostat

4.2 Stars (4.2 / 5)

Emerson Mechanical thermostat 2

This is a non programmable mechanical thermostat with bi metallic strip.

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3. Emerson 1F56N-444 Mechanical Heating and Cooling Thermostat

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Emerson MEchanical thermostat 3

Another bimetallic strip non programmable mechanical thermostat which is useful for certain purposes.

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3. Non Programmable Digital Thermostats

Non programmable digital thermostats are other kind of thermostats that can be controlled with a digital display.

3 best non programmable digital thermostats are

Now, lets have a look at the best non programmable digital thermostats available today,

1. Honeywell TH3110D1008 Pro Non-Programmable Digital Thermostat

4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)

honeywell programmable digital thermostat 1

When it comes to non programmable digital thermostats, honeywell TH3110D1008 is the best and popular one in the industry.

Lets have a look at some of the important features and specs of the honeywell TH3110D1008 digital thermostat.

  • Backlit digital display
  • Simultaneous display of current and set temperature.
  • Accurate- Consistent comfort is provided with high level of accuracy.
  • Slide switches – Slide switches makes your selection of  heat/cool mode very easy.
  • Weight – Weight of the thermostat is 1 Pound.
  • Color- Premier white color gives it the standard look.
  • Country of Origin – Mexico.
  • Battery – Battery is included along with the thermostat.
  • Installation guide- Very much straightforward and simple, it should take hardly 15 minutes for an amateur to install the honeywell TH3110D1008 non programmable digital thermostat.
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2. Honeywell RTH111B1016 Digital Non-Programmable Thermostat

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

honeywell non pogrammable digital thermostat

Honeywell RTH111B1016 is another non programmable digital thermostat to consider as it as a digital thermostat worth all the money you give.

Let us have a look at the features and specifications of Honeywell RTH111B1016 Digital Non-Programmable Thermostat

  • Very easy read(digital display).
  • Accurate temperature control.
  • Retains the set temperature, even if a power outage happens.
  • Color : white in color.
  • Good battery life of 8760 hours.
  • Country of Origin – Mexico.
  • Easy to use and install.
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3. Focuspro 5000 Non-Programmable Thermostat

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
focus prog non programmable digital thermostat

focus prog non programmable digital thermostat

This non programmable digital thermostat offers all the essential features with good performance and energy savings. Very large backlit screen is one of its biggest specialties. It also displays the room temperature and set temperature .Application: up to 1 heat/1 cool conventional systems and heat pumps with no auxiliary heat.

Dimensions: 3-7/16 ” (Height) x  4-1/2 ” (Width) x  1-5/16 ” (Depth) horizontal mounting.

Some of the details and specs of Focuspro 5000 Non Programmable thermostat are,

  • Plastic material.
  • Display size of 1.5 square inches.
  • Dual powered(using battery or hardware).
  • Premier white color.
  • 5.6 ounce weight.
  • Digital display(backlit).
  • Battery powered(No batteries included).
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4. Electronic thermostats

Most electronic thermostats fall under the low voltage category; however, you can have them for line-voltage purposes as well.  These devices contain a sensor that can detect when the temperature moves above or below the desired room temperature. Many of these thermostats are programmable as well.

Dissimilar to their mechanical counterparts, electronic thermostats use electronic gadgets to detect temperatures and consequently initiate control over your heating or cooling systems. They exhibit much quicker response time to temperature variations. In addition, these devices offer you a lot of convenient features like automatic setback and programmability. Therefore, electronic thermostats are more expensive than the mechanical ones. Low voltage electronic thermostats can keep a room at the particular temperature as desired.

Types of electronic thermostats

There are varied types of electronic thermostats available on the market. There are simple electronic thermostats that do not have any programming capabilities. On the other hand, there are programmable electronic thermostats that are loaded with features for controlling the heating or cooling systems of your home in a much more efficient manner.

Non programmable electronic thermostats function similar to the mechanical thermostats; the major difference is the metal coil in the mechanical thermostat is replaced by an electric temperature sensor in this device. A tiny microprocessor that is set inside this thermostat sends ‘start’ or ‘stop’ commands to the heating or cooling system based on the reading it takes and the chosen temperature setting. In fact they are more accurate than the mechanical alternatives, but, you have to set the favorite temperature manually and make necessary changes during the course of the day manually.